Do you remember when self check-outs were going to eliminate our need for customer service? How about when computers were going to eliminate our need for paper? What about the fact that Electric cars are going to eliminate our reliance on oil?
These needs were born out of a need to sell, not a need to satisfy the customer (did you want to eliminate paper, or just find a better way to create, catalog and access files?)
Needs are determined by the customer.
Most company executives that I have met are searching for “the next big thing” that will help them differentiate and gain customer attention and commitment.
To differentiate in today’s crowded marketplace, we simply need to ask our customers what would be helpful or valuable to them, and then shut up and listen.
If you want to be “the next big thing” in your industry or market, try asking your customer what they need that they are missing today. Don’t be scared to ask this a few times to come up with a valuable answer. Then design your products and services to align with these needs.
You will be surprised at how few companies ask this question, and more importantly how many actually listen to their customers response.
© Shawn Casemore 2013. All rights reserved.